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- Posted on Aug 5th 2009 3:00PM by David Chiu
"He thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if I put paint on the tips of my fingers and then played the song," King tells Spinner. "He thought that everything I am doing was very choreographed and methodical, and wondered what it would look like -- where my fingers would travel. That was really the start."
About three months ago, the New York-based guitarist invited her fans to create artwork using blank guitars as canvases. "The theme of each piece would be the title of one of my songs," King says. Sixteen people were eventually selected for the project and their art will be shown at an event, appropriately titled 'The Exhibition,' which opens this Friday at Littlefield, a performance and art space in Brooklyn, New York.
At the opening, King will participate in the art-making by placing pink paint on her fingertips and performing 'Playing With Pink Noise' on her well-known blue Ovation guitar, which was used in the 2004 music video for the song. That guitar will be later put up for auction with the money going to VH1's Save the Music Foundation, which funds music education in public schools.
Using social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, King put a call out to people who would be interested in becoming a part of the project. "I wanted diversity and thankfully I got it," she says. "The people I responded to most were [those] who said, 'I love this song and I want to do this to the guitar.' They kind of gave their mission statement very clearly up front."
In turn, King shipped blank guitars, which were donated by Ovation, to the artists. "I've seen many guitars that have been tricked out but remained playable," she says. "Even though that wasn't one of the criteria. You can smash it up, you can cut it in half, you can do whatever. The different ways that people have done this -- people actually cutting out 3-D images of a face ... a person covered a guitar in a plaster and then covered that in a gold paint. Someone actually turned the guitar into a suitcase."
With a few exceptions, most of the participants are not professional artists. "It's been an interesting and very exciting opportunity for them," King says. "I've been incredibly impressed as well."
Spearheading the project was also an opportunity for King to get to know other people who are not in her profession. "I live in a little bit of a bubble," she admits. "I looked around and thought, 'I don't really have that many good friends who are visual artists.' So there's slightly a selfish side; this project is just me wanting to meet a different set of human beings."
Whether 'The Exhibition' could possibly expand into a traveling show depends on a number of things, such as selling the art or the responses online. "It would be so brilliant to do the same thing in different countries," King says. "But again it's just the logistics involved. I would love to do it in other places if it worked out."
Doors for 'The Exhibition' open at 7 PM ET. Admission is free. Meanwhile, folks can check the progress of the guitars, including the final pieces, here.